Antler Growth

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Cathy 4 years ago.

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  • #4526

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Monday, August 22, 2011
    stdkrk12
    At what point do deer stop growing their horns in south texas. How much growth can you expect from middle august until they stop growing. Finally what part of the horns will you see that growth, in tine length, mass, beam length or throughout. Thanks.

    #4527

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Macy

    South Texas is a large area so I will stick with generalties here for safety sake. Most South Texas bucks will grow antler up until September 1st, give or take. What happens in the latter part of antler development is tine length increases quickly, beam tips become pointed and the antlers harden. When in velvet, look for the velvet color to switch from dark gray to light gray. As the antler hardens, the ends of the velvet slowly dies or cuts the blood flow off and the result becomes light colored, almost resembling dull white. The points of each tine and the beams become very sharp pointed as this happens so you can look at the points to see a timeline of shedding.

    By mid to late September, most South Texas are rubbing the velvet off. Of course, exceptions exist but for the most part, by September 1st the antler growth is over.

    Macy

    #4528

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Monday, August 22, 2011
    stdkrk12
    Thanks Macy. That helps a lot. Based on what you are saying you can look at the deers tips of his beams and if they are blunt, (not sharp and pointed) then he is still growing. Would you expect most mature deer to gain an inch on each tine between now and september under good conditions or is that asking too much.

    Also you mentioned the grey velvet. I have noticed that a lot of our larger deer have brown velvet. Do heavier horned deer show brown while others are grey or is this due to them eating so much protein.

    #4529

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Monday, August 22, 2011
    Macy

    Yes, adding an inch or more to blunt velvet covered tines is very practical and do-able for sure.
    The dark color may be a function of volume of blood. Velvet is simply external blood vessels carrying nutritent rich blood to the growing osteoblasts.
    An older, larger and more massive mature buck will have more blood in his antlers and consequently darker velvet than would a young deer with light mass.
    For those folks ever having worked bucks in a penned deer facility, you know what I mean. A mature buck that comes through the working chute and has his antlers removed will COVER you and the walls in blood. Sawing the antlers off as the velvet dries does not harm the buck physically but the process is very very bloody as the blood vessels are not completely shut off yet. It is siimilar to dehorning a cow or calf if you ever tried that too. Blood squirts up from the live vessels and applying pressure or Bisquik biscuit dry mix or other vet spray meds can quickly stop the bleeding. Regardless of how you do it, you will be covered in blood from the process and that experience is incredibly valuable to understand how the antler is nourished by the external blood vessels. Young bucks with light antler mass is easy to stop the bleeding while a mature buck is not nearly so.

    Macy

    #4530

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Monday, August 22, 2011
    Macy

    Yes, adding an inch or more to blunt velvet covered tines is very practical and do-able for sure.
    The dark color may be a function of volume of blood. Velvet is simply external blood vessels carrying nutritent rich blood to the growing osteoblasts.
    An older, larger and more massive mature buck will have more blood in his antlers and consequently darker velvet than would a young deer with light mass.
    For those folks ever having worked bucks in a penned deer facility, you know what I mean. A mature buck that comes through the working chute and has his antlers removed will COVER you and the walls in blood. Sawing the antlers off as the velvet dries does not harm the buck physically but the process is very very bloody as the blood vessels are not completely shut off yet. It is siimilar to dehorning a cow or calf if you ever tried that too. Blood squirts up from the live vessels and applying pressure or Bisquik biscuit dry mix or other vet spray meds can quickly stop the bleeding. Regardless of how you do it, you will be covered in blood from the process and that experience is incredibly valuable to understand how the antler is nourished by the external blood vessels. Young bucks with light antler mass is easy to stop the bleeding while a mature buck is not nearly so.

    Macy

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